Ryedale flooding: Vital equipment 'tampered with' to get past road closure in Malton

A plea has gone out to people in a flood-hit part of Ryedale after vital equipment was "tampered with".

By Sarah Fitton
Monday, 25th January 2021, 7:44 am

Ryedale District Council is urging the public to keep supporting the multi-agency efforts to manage flooding in Malton, Norton and Old Malton after reports that pump pipes and road closure cones were meddled with on Saturday night.

Piping attached to active water pumps were moved and road cones were shifted in order to get past a road closure.

Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “We’ve had reports that members of the public moved water pump piping and also moved cones on County Bridge which is closed for safety reasons.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

Water being pumped out of riverside properties in York last week.

"Fortunately it doesn’t appear to have had any serious consequences but it could have been a different story.

“Response crews are working incredibly hard on the ground right now, and having to revisit sites to check the positioning of pipes, or put road closure cones back in place, just adds to the pressure.

“The last few days have been difficult and disruptive for many people but on behalf of all the response agencies working in the area right now and all the people whose homes depend on the flood management plan, I am urging all members of the public to keep helping us at this challenging time.

“Pipes, pumps and road closures are there to keep people safe and protect homes and businesses. Please leave them in place.”

Teams have been working around the clock to manage the impact of flood and ground water in the towns, with 29 pumps now in operation.

Although the River Derwent has now peaked and the water level is falling, ground water is still high.

Response agencies are describing the situation as "stable but fragile", and flood management measures are expected to remain in place for some time.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Water levels of the River Derwent are slowly reducing but ground water levels will remain high for some time so the pumping operation will remain in place for as long as required.

“A huge thank you goes out to the local community who have been really supportive. However it’s incredibly important that people continue to adhere to road closures and steer clear of the pumps and pipes so that we can continue to reduce local flood risk.”